More cities post home price declines in October

Updated: 2011-11-18 14:00


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BEIJING - More Chinese cities posted monthly home price declines in October following the government's campaign to calm the runaway property market.

In October, 34 of the statistical pool of 70 major cities saw declines in new home prices from September, compared with 17 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

New home prices in 20 cities stayed flat last month from September, and the growth rates of home prices in the other cities were all below 0.2 percent, according to an NBS statement on its website.

On a year-on-year basis, two cities - Wenzhou and Ningbo in Eastern China's Zhejiang province - out of the 70, saw prices decline in October, compared with one in September. Gains of new home prices eased in 59 cities, the statement said.

Prices of new homes in the four top cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, saw month-on-month price drops after staying unchanged for three months.

New homes are defined as new commercial residential apartments excluding affordable housing, according to the statement.

Prices of existing homes fell in 38 cities in October, an increase of 13 cities from September, while those in 19 cities stayed flat, according to the statement.

Since April 2010, China has imposed a raft of measures aiming to calm property prices. They include higher down payments, limits on the number of houses that people can own, the introduction of a property tax in some cities and the construction of low-income housing.

NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said last month that the government's efforts had achieved positive results.

During a visit to Russia last week, Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated the stance that the government would not waiver on the tightening measures and pledged to lower prices to a reasonable level.

Also last week, China's housing authority announced it had met its goal of starting construction of more than 10 million units of affordable housing by the end of October.

That was part of the government's plan to build 36 million subsidized housing units in the five years to 2015, in a bid to cater for low-income families.